If there is one thing I will not eat, it is ampalaya or bitter gourd. Unfortunately, it is the favorite vegetable of my sweetie! So, even as I refuse to eat it, I cook it once in a while, if only to make hubby happy!
The usual Filipino way to cook ampalaya is to saute it with scrambled egg/s, but just this once, I wanted something different. Oh, I still won’t eat it, but at least hubby will be happy with the “new” dish – the Chinese variation of the bitter gourd… with salted egg! The original is actually made with salted egg yolks. But really now, what would I do with the egg whites? Might as well throw them into the mix too!
The recipe –
1 large ampalaya
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks of leeks, sliced diagonally, white and green parts separated
2 pieces salted egg, mashed
pinch of sugar and white pepper, optional
First of all, prepare the ampalaya by cutting in half lengthwise then slicing horizontally into thin slices. Rub with salt and let stand a few minutes then rinse (this is to lessen the bitterness somewhat). Meanwhile, heat the wok and add some oil.
Saute the garlic and the white part of the leeks then add the mashed salted eggs. Stir fry until the mixture is bubbly and messy-looking. Add in the ampalaya slices; mix until the ampalaya is coated with the salted egg mixture. Add the pinch of sugar and white pepper, if using.
Cook until the ampalaya slices are soft. If the mixture gets too dry, add some hot water by tablespoonfuls.
Serve garnished with the green part of the leeks.